Nigeria: Buhari Plans Security Overhaul Over Killings

President Buhari met with Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara at the State House on the Security situation in Plateau State.

President Muhammadu Buhari met Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara yesterday promising to rorganise the nation's security apparatus following the rising spate of killings in parts of Nigeria.

Dogara, while addressing State House correspondents after the close-door meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, said President Buhari told them about his plan to reorganise the security as a measure to stop killings.

"These are security issues; they are not matters that you can discuss. But he (Buhari) has told us what he is doing, the reorganization that he plans to put in place to ensure that these (killings) don't happen (again)", Dogara said.

He said they met with Buhari to condole with him as well as the government and people of Plateau State over the "very unfortunate" killings of scores of people in the state.

Dogara said the president briefed them on what he saw first-hand when he visited Plateau State on Wednesday and measures he was putting in place to forestall a recurrence.

"These are very sober moments for all of us in a situation where people in hundreds are killed, and we can no longer tolerate this kind of situation as a government. Whatever it is, we must not lose the fight against violence, because we can't lose that fight and still keep our civilization.

"If you go to the northeast, you can see the level of devastation caused by Boko Haram; everything resembling progress from schools to hospitals to government institutions, everything has been pulled down. And we don't want a replication of this all over the country," he said.

"My advice to our people, not just Plateau State, Benue, Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba; virtually all communities faced with this situation, especially in the north, is that the issue of securing our communities, living peacefully, must be taken as a project, it is something each and every one of us must invest in; whether as traditional rulers, as community leaders, councillors, chairmen, all strata of society, must invest in peace building.

"That is the only way we can live in a secured community and ensure that we have progress as a country," Dogara stated.

Senate President Saraki also confirmed that Buhari disclosed his plan to "see what can be done" with the security agencies, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to stop killings.

Saraki said: "We met with the president to first of all commiserate with him and get a briefing from him. Part of the briefing, he explained how steps were being taken to forestall reoccurrence and restore sanity because this is a great concern to him and to us also, to see what can be done with NEMA and security agencies.

"We will all work towards it, nobody is happy with it and we will all come together to ensure that we restore sanity. We commiserate with all families."

Saraki said he and Dogara also intended to pay a condolence visit to Plateau State.

Security chiefs in the spotlight

Though neither Saraki nor Dogara went into the details as to the nature of the reorganisation the president plans to embark upon, Daily Trust reports that security chief in the country have been in the spotlight for a while, with some calling for their sack for failing to secure the country.

This followed reported killings in parts of Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau, and Zamfara states.

The House of Representatives had in April passed vote of no confidence on service chiefs and their replacement to inject fresh ideas on the best way to end the spate of killings going in the country.

The resolutions which included the immediate replacement of service chiefs were sequel to a motion by Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) on the killings of two priests and 17 others in Benue State.

There were also concerns by stakeholders of the seeming inter-agency rivalry among the nation's security outfits.

Daily Trust recalls that a report by an ad-hoc committee of the Senate recently quoted the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana M. Monguno (rtd) as lamenting the lack of cooperation among security agencies.

Monguno was quoted in the report of the committee that probed the clash between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Service (DSS) and Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) last year.

The NSA said lack of unity and cooperation among the intelligence agencies led to "the current state of disjointedness and disharmony amongst the sister Agencies."

"This resulted due to the National Security Agencies Decree 1986; Cap 278, Cap 278 LFN section 14 01-2 which has stripped the NSA of the power to check other security agencies that have now become independent of his office due to their now 'easy' access to the President," the report quoted him as saying.

Senate keeps mum on special funding

In May this year, the Senate after held a 4- hour meeting with the security chiefs where it requested for the submission of proposal for special funding to tackle the killings in the country.

The Senate had at the end of the meeting with the security chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin gave them two weeks to make the submission. Heads of other military and paramilitary agencies were represented.

Over a month after, the request has not been made, Daily Trust gathered last night. The request which is expected to come through the presidency is still being awaited.

The spokesperson of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abullahi, could not be reached via phone for comment on the issue.

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